Sunday, January 20, 2008

Mailbag: A couple of questions are answered.

Regular reader Brad had a couple of questions following Friday's "Operation Progressive Pint: Current progress", and for various reasons I didn’t get the usual e-mail notification and missed them until today.

Here are Brad’s questions and my answers.

Does this (brewery expansion downtown) mean that the NABC may soon be selling kegs to the general public, or that kegs may be available to the general public through some distribution channel?

We’re able to do dock sales on a limited basis now, although we’re constrained by beer supply and periodic cooperage shortages. I suspect that the planned facility will be able to offer more consistency in the way of keg sales to the public. Otherwise, it is our hope that we’ll be shipping kegs to places like Indianapolis, Bloomington and Louisville.

Also, are there any plans (even sort of "Pie in the Sky" ideas) to expand the brewpub business of NABC/Rich O's? While I don't mind waiting 30 minutes (or more) for great pizza and incredible beer, I'm sure I could justify the trip from Louisville more often if 1/4 of my stay wasn't spent standing around.

Although it’s always been a challenge to deal with Fridays and Saturdays, the past year saw a big surge in business every night, and we weren’t prepared for it.

There has been a longtime conundrum with respect to seating, and the easiest way to explain it is that we’ve continued to add seating capacity with the same size kitchen, which was designed for about a third of the people who now are prepared to order food at 7:00 p.m. on Friday. Obviously, the kitchen must eventually be expanded, but to do that means we lose seats, probably on the Rich O’s side.

We could begin semi-regular seating in the Prost banquet room area, but not until the kitchen expands. So, currently we’re working on a plan to change the way we use Prost. As it turns out, Prost really hasn’t been big enough to do regular functions like receptions, and our catering options have been both difficult to prepare and generally supplanted by a preference for pizza. Prost sits empty when we need to use it.

For the short term, and while retaining the option of using Prost as an events area for art shows, FOSSILS meetings and preferred seating during beer festivals, our plan is to establish Prost as a non-smoking bar and waiting area of sorts while we work on a permanent remake. This at least would give people a non-smoking area to wait for a table, and perhaps light appetizers could be offered. There'll be a flat-screen television so that sporting events become an option on that side of the building.

(Note: I always said no televisions in Rich O's proper. Prost is different.)

Hopefully this will give us time to figure out a plan for kitchen expansion, which hasn’t yet been done.

1 comment:

Iamhoosier said...

I remember a television in Richo's from way back. The nice and different thing was, it was usually tuned to CNN or CSPAN(or baseball especially if the A's were playing)